News & Insights 19 June 2013

The LYs & The Riverton Circle Of Friends

Riverton Circle Of FriendsThe Lightyears grew up in a quiet village on the Oxfordshire/Berkshire border called Goring-on-Thames. The band has spent most of its professional life in London, but I reckon we’ll always think of Goring as ‘where we come from’. That’s right – Eminem has the mean streets of Detroit, Oasis have a violent father on a Manchester council estate, and we have the bake sales and organic butchers of Goring-on-Thames. You do the math.

Back in 2006, on our first American tour, The Lightyears’ tour bus (nb. not actually a bus) rolled into a quiet New Jersey community called Riverton, a small and exceptionally pretty town on the Delaware River with grand old post-colonial houses, an incredible community spirit and just about the warmest and most welcoming people in the world. People actually leave their doors unlocked there. In short, it’s about as close to an American equivalent of Goring as it’s possible to be and, inevitably, soon established itself as The Lightyears’ second home.

When we’re on tour in the States if we’re not in New York we generally base ourselves in Riverton, where like the weary travellers we are we’re always offered a place to stay and a veritable mountain of delicious all-American food. I have eaten corn-on-the-cob there that would make grown men weep – it’s a very special place.

The Riverton Circle Of Friends Concert Series

This year we are very lucky to be headlining at Riverton’s legendary Circle Of Friends concert series on Saturday 17 August. COF was set up in 2009 by music lovers in the area to bring artists direct to the people, and since then they’ve held many amazing events in a number of truly unusual venues including a pump house, the workshop of a yacht builder (the band played with two large unfinished sailboats behind them), a yoga studio and a tattoo parlour (that’s “parlor” to all you American folks). The COF website puts it like this:

Circle of Friends brings musicians and music lovers together, organizing and promoting house concerts to create homey, intimate performances… Every event offers live music, good conversation and a chance to meet new friends.

We can’t wait… it should be a really special show. Tickets are available now (click here to buy yours) in a rather nifty two-tier system – $10 for a basic ticket (which supports us), and $19 for a sustaining ticket (which supports Circle Of Friends as well). This show will be unique on our 2013 tour, with its intimate atmosphere, acoustic set-up and idyllic location, so make sure you don’t miss out. There will definitely be exclusive readings from my novel, and I expect the band will throw in a few curveballs on the set front.

Since 2007, we have had our very own Lightyears plaque in Riverton, erected by the legendary Maureen on her famous front porch to commemorate the time we performed there for the town’s annual Treasure Day. Bowie may have his blue plaque off Regent Street, and Keith Moon his commemoration above the old Marquee Club in Soho, but we’re pretty happy with our wooden tribute on Maureen’s Porch in Riverton, New Jersey. And every now and again it calls us home.

Chris Lightyear

Buy tickets for The Lightyears at Circle Of Friends (Saturday 17 August)

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